You may be thinking about managing your child’s homesickness, but before homesickness sets in there will be a wave of other emotions experienced before you set off for boarding school. Excitement, anticipation, nervousness are just a few that both parents and children may feel.
Children take cue from their parents. If parents are relaxed, soothing, optimistic and supportive children will more likely feel confident and competent. Children may feel separation anxiety and so may you. To ease this, talk to them openly, be honest with your feelings, and listen with empathy.
Children want to fit in, which is why we have referenced The Ultimate Packing List for Boarding School in this blog post, but what we can’t tell you is the style of dress that may be in fashion. For my brothers back in the day it was boat shoes that were worn by most, for me it was skinny leg jeans and singlet tops. Boarding staff should be able to help you but another source is family friends who live in the city, or have had had older children recently at boarding school.
Here are additional tips to help parents prepare their children for boarding school
- If attending a new school, try to visit your child’s school in advance before it comes time to drop them off for their first night. Let them get familiar with classrooms, bathrooms, hallways and important offices such as the principal and the nurse.
- Find out if there are any friends, or neighbors at their school. Having a buddy makes the transition to move more smoothly.
- If possible, talk to the teacher, the nurse, pastoral care officer and the principal in advance. Tell them of any concerns you have in regard to say your children’s health, and learning problems in advance.
- For many this will be their first time on their own in a big city. So a ‘safety first’ attitude is a very important part of preparing for the first day of school. You want your children to know traffic safety as well as the area around the school.
Finally, you can’t spoil children with love so don’t be afraid to tell them how much you will miss them.